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I released a new version of my one year old website a few days ago - the content was much the same but with more (and better) content on the homepage and a bit of optimisation on some of the poor meta descriptions. In the days since launching this my positions in SERPS for my main keywords have really jumped around - some going from out of the top 100, to the top 50 and then dropping out again and that pattern seems to repeat somewhat.

Is this normal with Google?

Strangely, I've gone from outside the top 100 on bing to number 2 for a main keyword - if only people used bing!

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Google Dance

With any content changes you should expect some shift, Google can sometimes put you in a dance which can seem your rankings worsen only to improve the next coming weeks to months hence they call this the Google dance.

Off Page SEO

Nowadays content changes have less of an impact than off page SEO so you should consider that this could just of happened for other reasons other than the changes done on the site, Bing however could be reacting to the changes while Google may just be dancing you around for other reasons.

Over Optimization

As long as you haven't over optimized then you should see improvement, if you have over optimized then you should expect a drop in rankings... There's lots of threads on the internet about over-optimization. But again, with Google must changes in rankings is off page SEO (links, social media mentions, citations, and so on... content is king is true but only when people see and talk about your content).

Never Under Estimate the Power of Bing

In my line of work I often hear my customers say I don't care about Bing no one uses it... just as you mentioned in your question. Never under estimate the power of Bing, in fact for some niches more people use Bing than Google. Bing current holds a market share of around 30% while Google 66%, by 2016 it is expected that Bing will hold 40% of the market share and Google drop to around 58%. Currently there is over 500 million people using Bing daily for their searches to consider them unworthy is bad for business and Bing should be just as important as Google.

It's important to note that I said that some people in some niches use Bing more than Google, this is true for example Xbox uses Bing, so generally console searchers are younger and will generally visit game sites so this changes the share hold, some users like older people use bing because most often they use Bing because its either preloaded on their machine or its the top one to pick when picking the default, many variables involved but you get my drift, bottom line is Bing is important and will be more important as we approach 2016 and later.

  • Awesome answer - many thanks! I definitely haven't over optimised. I would say before my changes it was "under optimised". There haven't been any new backlinks for a few weeks so not sure if it is the offsite work I've been doing. It coincides perfectly with the new version of the website but the content was quite a large change, so I'm hoping it's just taking Google a little while to get to grips with it. – user319940 Apr 28 '14 at 13:05
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What do you use to track changes? If you simply google your website, your browser may be logged in with your account and remember your previous searches - that is how you can see your website on top of the list. For more accurate ranking use SERP trackers.

Also, yes, eveything is normal for Google, it's a mystery what they do inside. At the same time it's coold that you don't go into off-site optimization without knowing how to - it can deteriorate you website ranks, be careful.

Hope it helps too.

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